Shifting Cultural Perceptions About Migraine

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Key Questions
  • What role does gender play in men and women seeking treatment for migraine?
  • Can history help explain why migraine doesn’t get the respect it deserves?
  • What is the biggest hurdle to getting more funding for migraine research?
Interview Notes

Find more about Joanna Kempner, PhD and her work here:

Joanna Kempner, PhD

Author & Professor
Rutgers University

Joanna Kempner is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University where she writes, researches and speaks about medicine, science, politics, gender and the body. She is the author of Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health, an award winning book that examines the gendered social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain.

In addition to studying how social relations shape the production of knowledge, she is also on the vanguard of research investigating how the social world shapes what we do not know or what scholars are now calling “agnotology,” aka the study of ignorance or the “flip side” of epistemology. She is a recipient of Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, one of Rutgers’ highest honors.Her research can be read in a wide-range of academic and popular venues, including Science, Headache, Social Science & Medicine, and

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